Truth be told, I am not even a big fan of the Goods and Services Tax, which turns the nation into one single market. My libertarian principles are in favor of local control over every aspect of governance, from taxation to running schools. I am always in favor of reducing centralized systems and devolving power into the hands of local authorities: from Center to States, from States to Cities and finally with cities themselves handing over as many powers as possible to local neighborhood associations. The mess that Mumbai and Delhi and Noida and Gurgaon and most other cities face during rains and the reason these problems are never seriously tackled is that we do not have sufficiently empowered city governments. This is in stark contrast to the US model where the mayors of big cities like NY and Chicago are household names nationwide.
The only good idea that AAP ever came up with was devolving power to Mohalla Sabhas: which is the main reason they never ever talk about this any longer. As a typical dictator running a personality cult based political party, the last thing that Kejriwal would want is to devolve power…
But then, I am nothing if not an empiricist. The maze of local taxes (each one of them collected by a separate system of lazy, corrupt and inefficient babus) surely increases the cost of doing business. A national market gets rid of a lot of corrupt and crazy bureaucracies in one fell swoop. That is why I am happy to welcome the passage of the Goods and Services Tax in the Rajya Sabha.
True, the Commies, also known as the world’s biggest losers, tried to throw a last moment spanner in the works. Here is an exclusive picture of Sitaram Yechury speaking for the Commies in the Rajya Sabha yesterday:
Thank you for sharing your views, Mr. Yechury.
What is more important today is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ushered in the single biggest tax reform in the history of independent India. Given how important sentiment is to the world economy, an emphatic statement of intent and iron will from Prime Minister Modi can only be good for manufacturing, for foreign investment and growth.
There can be no doubt that the Prime Minister has etched his name in history by passing this massive tax reform. Just as important as the passage of the bill is the margin of the passage…barring some people who walked out, no one voted against the bill. The resolve for reform should be heard across the world. India is open for business.
And it is also wonderful to finally take a break from the endless news on caste agitations propped up by the Congress and the media. For a change, we are discussing stuff that matters. This is the kind of stuff that has the power to change our lives.
This reformist message will be heard not just in America, Europe, China and Japan, but also in the living rooms of BJP’s urban middle class base. As I spoke about yesterday, urbanization is the key for the BJP to win and keep winning. There have been 9 Prime Ministers since the idea of GST first came up, but Narendra Modi was the man who got it done. It cannot be changed now (unless, of course, the overlords at the Supreme Council of India decide to intervene).
But for the moment, we soak in the bountiful monsoon and explore a future full of optimism. It is good to take a step back from the relentless negativity that the media throws at the Modi sarkar and feel the moment. Someone once told me a story with a profound message: a king asked the wise men in his court to bring him a magical device that could make every happy person sad and every sad person happy… One wise man came back and gave the king a ring with these words inscribed on it: “This too shall pass“.
So, my friends, this too shall pass. But for the moment, India has won. Bharat ki vijay! Acche din aane waale hain… 🙂
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